The Teenage Body Book review

The Teenage Body Book: A New Edition for a New Generation by Kathy McCoy, Ph.D., & Charles Wibbelsman, M.D.

Hatherleigh, 2008. 978-1-57826-277-9

Synopsis: Growing up is scary and confusing – your body is changing, your emotions seem out of control, and everything from friendships to relationships are more complicated than ever. The Teenage Body Book covers everything teens need to know about sexuality, nutrition, health, emotions, fitness and more. This new revised edition also features a 15-teen panel dedicated to giving real world advice and answering commonly – and uncommonly – asked questions the reader might be too afraid to ask.

Why I picked it up: I was looking for a good book to learn more about changes that happen in puberty, and it fit the bill.

Why I finished it: It definitely won’t replace the awkward period talks with my mother or the grotesque videos they showed in health class about “Our Changing Bodies”, but for kids and teens not willing to talk to their parents or friends and brave enough to check it out at the library, this is a great resource. Masters and Johnson it is not, but the teen panelists and the questions that were submitted to the authors make it more accessible and friendly to a teen audience. Being a teenager is such an awkward stage that (thankfully) has a large number of publications that deal with the subject of puberty and growing up, but many of them are written by adults, for adults; frankly, that’s not the kind of thing I would want to read, and I don’t know that many others would either. What I liked about this book is that it covers everything from soup to nuts: commonly asked questions about first periods, body hair, drugs and drinking, mental health, special medical needs, sexuality, birth control and STDs, even a chapter about how to ask for help and where to get it. I almost wished I’d known about this book sooner.

Other related materials: Growing and Changing: A Guide for Preteens by Kathy McCoy, Ph.D. and Charles Wibbelsman, M.D.; The ‘What’s Happening to My Body?’ Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras; The ‘What’s Happening to My Body?’ Book for Girls by Lynda Madaras; Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships by Ruth Bell; S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College by Heather Corinna; The Teenage Guy’s Survival Guide: The Real Deal on Girls, Growing Up and Other Guy Stuff by Jeremy Daldry; What’s Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask by Karen Gravelle, Nick Castro, Chava Castro, and Robert Leighton; The Boy’s Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up YOU by Kelli Dunham and Steven Bjorkman; My Body, My Self for Girls by Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras; My Body, My Self for Boys by Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras; 100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents by Elisabeth Henderson and Nancy Armstrong; Ready, Set, Grow!: A What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Younger Girls by Lynda Madaras and Linda Davick; On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow!: A ‘What’s Happening to My Body?’ Book for Younger Boys by Lynda Madaras and Paul Gilligan; Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat by Meghan Carle, Jill Carle, and Judy Carle; It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie B. Harris and Michael Emberley


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